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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2023, 16:09 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
So yesterday played a couple of hours with a friend - blocker (30-40 minutes some warm up and some light exercises like 3rd ball from different positions + random and matches).
Well - the Rxton 3 Blue played faster than the last time (again) - so it's the 4th day that it's been breaking.. I think it's already on the B2 level (if not faster). Main difference - the topsheet: in B2 it's rather soft and here it's hard. This creates some problems for me on serve but I just need some time to adapt. Like.. for 8 Euro - a great Chinese rubber :)

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PostPosted: 21 Apr 2023, 19:13 
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
After another couple of training sessions dumped the Rxton 3 Blue :D
Couple of reasons:
1. Main one - BH consistency was a problem (probably too hard for me)
2. The hard topsheet - very specific feeling on this, also not very good in humid conditions

For now the TDE felt like the best between both worlds - tacky, hard but more dynamic than a regular chinese rubber.. But the durability issue is absurd :(

So switched to Hammond Z2 - yes - this is not a tacky rubber and yes - it's fast :)
But I have tried it before. For now I can say that I have almost zero problems with it's speed. For BH it's superb, for my FH - needs some adaptation.
The FH can not be played the same way that it's played with hard tacky rubbers but the changes that need to be done are not as big as they would be if I switched to something like a classical European tensor (for example tested Rakza X and I just could not use it on FH - either out or in the net..).
I'll try to stick with this rubber - I think it's adaptable and I think I'll be able to still produce some serious FH topspins when I correct my motion a little (for now I feel that I need to make the impact contact longer and add a little more wrist).

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PostPosted: 23 Apr 2023, 04:14 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
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Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Played a tournament today - played well, the Hammond Z2 is great on the BH but don't feel it on the FH. One needs to play more upwards with it and also more snap in the wrist or elbow..
The results are good, but my elbow hurts - I'm probably searching for the right motion and somehow this does not seem good for the elbow. Will probably return to tacky chinese rubbers cause don't think there's a point in changing the technique so much at this time..
But Z2 is definitely a good rubber - has the spin, gears and control. Liked it on the BH very much on my blade.
Took a video of one of my losses - will edit it these days.

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PostPosted: 23 Apr 2023, 23:58 
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Location: Bulgaria
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
So here's the match from yesterday.
I think I played ok, having in mind that this is my second day with the Z2 (lots of uncertainty in my shots - I don't feel confident on the quality and also if the ball goes where I want it) and the fact that I have never beaten this opponent.

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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2023, 07:31 
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You played pretty well. So give yourself credit. Thanks for sharing. There were some good rallies. :up:


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PostPosted: 03 May 2023, 21:52 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
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Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Yesterday slapped a National 38 degree Battle 2. Why remove the Z2 - my FH motion is very different. Trying to correct it will take a lot of time and also my elbow started to hurt.
Played 2hrs with the B2 - the elbow doesn't hurt, I feel what will happen.. Also the rubber needs to break but already plays nice. Got the 38 version cause wanted a little more control on the BH side when twiddling.
Today will have another training session - will see, but B2 almost never disappoints.. :lol:

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PostPosted: 04 May 2023, 17:25 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Had a good 2hr session yesterday (exercises and one match).
I always come back to the B2.. that's the truth. The 38 national version is really nice - great speed, great spin and the control on the BH is a little better. It feels very good.
In training currently working on remaining low after receive or after a 3rd ball attack, cause most of the time I receive/attack the 3rd ball and then go up - so currently the main focus is to stay lower - it's so much easier to continue to the next ball after that..

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PostPosted: 12 May 2023, 06:30 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
So today played in our Thursday league.
Most of the time I don't even write about this cause it's relatively easy for me to win it and I go for the social aspect of the league. Win/loose - doesn't matter really for me on Thursdays :lol:
But today there was another participant, who is stronger than me (but I've beaten him a couple of times too, but it's like 8 out of 10 he'll win.. for now :)) (the guy from this post -> viewtopic.php?f=58&t=32569&start=180#p398593)
So we played the Final, I lost 3:1.
So the two things that I wanted to write down are:
1. I lacked the concentration and thus didn't make the right tactical choices. Also my receive stiffened after the 3rd set (too passive with the Anti on receive - the speed and length of the receives was bad)
2. I played well. I mean I was moving well - it was easier for me to cope with his explosiveness and also I felt more secure and more ready in fast paced rallies. So definitely I see some payout of my training sessions and me concentrating more on my legs (bending the knees more, not straightening them after a shot.. such things - they are definitely not perfect, but there's clear progress in this regard).
Overall - meh :| .. I didn't like my loss, but I have the understanding that the training that I do (and it's not much) helps - so that's good. This understanding does not make me feel better though - not liking my choices of serves and tactical decisions is currently weighting on me more than the fact the there are already some results of my work. That's why I decided to write everything down - cause the emotions may overshadow the good things.. and now they won't - I've written everything down! :D

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PostPosted: 17 May 2023, 22:40 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 94 times
Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
On Sunday I had a 2.5 hr sparring session with my defender friend.
I managed to describe to him how to block my 3rd ball attacks and overall improve his blocks by bending his knees a little more (it's easier when a receive is part of the exercise) and so I had the opportunity to work on my 3rd ball and continuation technique. I'm focusing more on the legs, weight transfer and overall forward momentum of the body and hitting the ball earlier and not late.. so it was a good part of the training that I spent doing this from FH and BH.
Then, of course, FH against chop, BH against chop.. the typical things.
The interesting thing came when we switched and I was chopping and he started topspinning with his FH. So a little bit about his FH technique.. It has always been all over the place - no two topspins came the same way to my end - even if he tried. My words do not seem to reach him - seems like the way I explain does not help. It's like he does it - it works, but then he somehow can not control it anymore.
So, while he was topspinning and I was chopping he had an epiphany :*: :*: :*: . He phrased it this way: after the FH topspin putting the hand in front of him. Meaning - guiding the hand to the classical beginning position (which is in front of the body and ready for FH or BH). Well, if this phrasing works for him - that's good. But the fact is that this drastically changed the quality of the FH topspin and the consistency! It was like someone else started doing it. Because he was shocked (and so was I) - we continued with this simple exercise for quite some time, and after we came to a conclusion that he needs to engrave this feeling inside his brain so he can change his stroke to this one, I told him to do this now in a typical FH to FH setup where I just block and he does this his new motion. And it was superb! He was taking the ball earlier, the hand motion was almost identical from shot to shot, the ball quality was very good and consistent. Also it was easier for him to control his power.. And the consistency!!!
So this was a big day for me and my friend. I hope he does not forget the feeling from the session and we'll be able to work on it more and transfer his current FH topspin to the new one.

On Monday I played (mostly games) against my opponent from the last post. Friendly matches and all. I came with the idea to win and won the first match 3:2 on deuce in the 5th with a net in the last point :rofl: Basically - luck, but I played well, focused and executed everything I wanted.
After that he beat my for thee matches straight, but there where tons of sets in dues so the matches where close (one 3:0 and two 3:1).
Overall I felt that most of my focus went to the first match and the next ones I couldn't play the same and also he adapted and wanted revenge :lol:
The 3rd and 4th matches became tricky - because the humidity in the hall was high and main problem: it became rather slippery. So after a couple of slips I felt insecure and could not play the way I wanted (a little further behind the table) and in close quarters he's much better than me.

So it was another great session really.. until the next day when I felt my right knee hurt.. Thought it's nothing, but nop - currently my knee is like 5% bigger and feels a little blocked by all the fluids there. So some small trauma is obviously present - I don't feel pain in it until I try to load it too much (tested once - on full sit-ups it hurts a little). So yep - ice and some days without TT for now (I hope a week will be enough, but we'll see)

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PostPosted: 19 May 2023, 20:05 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Currently not playing (the knee is still a little swollen and hurts a little - will see a doctor on Monday) but saw my shoes (before putting them in the bag) and...

previous shoe post is this -> viewtopic.php?f=58&t=32569&start=165#p397731

So after 8 months of usage of the Babolats - the rubber sole is completely torn under my big toe on the right shoe and almost there on the left one. Also some torn parts on the sides of the shoe..
So these shoes have to go. 8 months is less compared to the Asics and Mizunos so the Babolat (for me) currently takes last place :)
What I liked about them was their insole - it was very nice.

Will be checking out new models of Mizuno or some Li Nings or Asics.. will see.. But - need a change. And now it'll be a nice distraction until my knee recovers.

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PostPosted: 12 Jun 2023, 20:52 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Today will be the first time I go to play in like.. 4 weeks almost.
The Post is to write down that this will also be the first day of usage of the new shoes - Li-Ning Light Feather.
So I can track later how long will they last. Swapped the insoles right after I bought them cause the original insoles are too flat for me.

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PostPosted: 22 Jul 2023, 17:42 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 94 times
Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
So after a couple of plays from the previous post my knee got swollen again - too soon and too much it seems.
So took some more rest and went to a rehabilitator. He tested me and gave me some home exercises. Also said I can play, but only 50% of the time that I would normally play (and with a knee brace too).
So yesterday was my first day of TT. A training session - very controlled, only exercises(changing roles with my partner) and not intense ones. Felt great, trained for around 90 minutes - didn't feel anything at all and today feels absolutely ok too. So will be continuing with the daily exercises and controlled TT.
A fun(psychological) thing happened while I was on my way to the TT club with my sparring partner..:
So around 5 minutes before arriving to the club (walking) my knee started to hurt - like really. And it hasn't done this even once while just walking for the whole time from the trauma. And the pain was not really the same that I've felt before.
I was like: what the .. :^) ? like why the hell would it hurt no when I'm just walking regularly :o :rofl: As an answer I decided that this is the subconscious fear because of my last experiences and it triggers/amplifies some body reactions/feeling. I laughed at it and decided not to think about this cause I was pretty sure that my leg is objectively in rather good state and this was more like a self-preserving subconscious reaction.
So the leg hurt until the moment I started doing exercises :D I was focused on my technique and recovering the feeling and nothing hurt. And didn't hurt at any moment after that (and now - the day after - everything's fine). So this is a very interesting moment and I wanted to write it down for myself here :D

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PostPosted: 14 Aug 2023, 06:06 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 94 times
Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Currently not playing any TT cause the knee will need more time to heal it seams..
Meanwhile Youtube suggested this very nice video with some great TT footage:

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PostPosted: 21 Sep 2023, 04:19 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
Been thanked: 94 times
Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Quick update.
Still recovering - can do daily activities without any problems, but I'm not playing any TT and not doing any hard activities..
As it's a meniscus tear recovering from it will probably take time.
Here in Bulgaria all doctors that I saw say that operation is the only way - I really don't think so (and my tear is not of the problematic type too) so I currently am doing an additional stretching exercise daily (3 times a day) and an exercise for the stabilizing muscles and patiently waiting. Also using the knee support if going out..
So this is the current status - I will probably try to avoid playing TT until 2024 if I feel that the knee is getting better (and it is, but very slowly).

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PostPosted: 07 Jan 2024, 22:33 
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Joined: 12 Mar 2016, 00:31
Posts: 361
Location: Bulgaria
Has thanked: 65 times
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Blade: Joola Xylo 7
FH: Battle 2 National 38
BH: Trick Anti
Today was my first time playing TT from since the post from July..
Played with my wife, also used a knee support and had a new rubber on the FH side :D Will see how I feel tomorrow but I think I can start playing again - just need to give myself enough time to recover between sessions.
About the new rubber - decided to try Bluestar A1 as I want to find something with more control than the B2 and with the ability to generate more power with less body involvement (to protect the knee). So the A1 is softer than I though, it's also not super fast. Needs more wrist on FH and has more dwell - this will need some adjustments. I hope it to be similar to Z2 but with better grip (and the A1 definitely has better grip than the Z2).. That's it for now. I hope next time I play will be rather soon.

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